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SHOPPING MALLS AND DEPARTMENT STORES

These are popping up wherever you look now. One wonders what the new ones are actually going to have in them to sell?? It is hard for foreign brands to come in without having to charge crazy prices to get over the import taxes, but we can hope that more come in. The ”malls” are nothing in comparison to what you would expect, but as each one opens, the standards improve.

A couple of notes: The opening hours for malls and department stores are general. Specific shops within malls can have their own hours. Phone numbers are general phone numbers, which is something to remember. If looking for specific information on a shop within the mall, it is worth looking up the phone number for that particular shop.

1. Colombo City Centre

137 Sir James Pieris Mawatha, Colombo 02 | Opening Hours: 10am -10pm | 070 251 4811
This is a good place to go shopping. They have a decent selection of shops and it is a safe and enjoyable space. If you have urge then it is a good place to go. They’ve got hairdressers, beauty outlets, a supermarket, a food court (large and with variety), a cinema and a play area. we are happy to see now the One Galle Face Mall has opened it is still drawing in a crowd.  We just wish there were a few more new international brands.

2. One Galle Face Mall(Shangri La)

1A,Centre Road,Galle Face,Colombo 2 |Opening Hours:10.00am-10.00pm |0117 869 869

Woo Hoo…The Newest Mall in Sri Lanka as of January 2020, designed and built by the Shangri-La group. With its seven floors of beautifully laid-out shopping, eating, and pampering, it really is a spectacle. The mall boasts a huge food court on the bottom floor, shops for a myriad of premium brands: both local and international, a professionally run play area for children and a rooftop featuring a cluster of 10 restaurants and a cineplex run by PVR. It has become our one stop place, totally in love.

3. Liberty Plaza

R. A. De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 3 | Opening Hours: 10am – 9pm | 0112 301 011
Located at the end of one of Colombo’s main roads, Liberty Plaza is a maze of shops, but once you get your bearings you will find it extremely useful, especially for getting your phone repaired. Try M1 phone shop. The shop ‘The Toy Library’ is also brilliant for children’s gifts. Liberty Plaza also has Colombo’s only comic book store, Red Dot Geek. It’s opposite Liberty by Scope Cinemas, a complex with 2 theatres, and good A/V. They’ve also got a large supermarket.
A note: Liberty Plaza has 2 atriums that can be rented out for pop-up sales. These sales have no promotion beforehand so you come across them largely by chance, but they are good opportunities to get things like shoes, handbags, and sunglasses on the cheap. Quality is variable at best though.

4. Liberty Arcade

253 R. A. De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 3 | Opening Hours: 10am – 7pm | 0112 575 935
More or less adjacent to Liberty Plaza, it is a little bit of a ghost town but ‘Nuki’ has some great clothing. On the whole, Liberty Arcade is a bit odd. It has a few shops on the Ground Floor (tea, electronics, and stuff like that), Nuki on the First Floor, and a restaurant space that keeps changing. The upper floors are rented out to offices.

5. Majestic City

10 Station Rd, Colombo 4 | Opening Hours: 9am – 9pm | 0112 508 673
Majestic City is Colombo’s oldest shopping complex and opened in 1990. A bit dated, in terms of architecture, but you will find some rare gems here. There are good electronic shops, and it is full of little local stores. Well worth having a root around. They also have a Cineplex on the top floors with 4 theatres of different sizes. They’ve also got a supermarket.

6. Independence Arcade

Independence Square, Colombo 7 | Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm | 071 869 3523
This used to be Colombo’s old mental Asylum, which has been lovingly restored by the government. It is a huge colonial building set amidst beautiful grounds adjacent to Independence Square. There is a cinema, and a handful of good places to eat. We like the Asylum (it’s a restaurant, not to worry) for a drink outdoors. There are some good international shops like Tommy Hilfiger, Charles & Keith, Hugo Boss and a few more. You will find a lot of locals aimlessly wandering around, but we don’t blame them, it is very peaceful and a nice place to just hang.

7. Marino Mall

590 Galle Rd, Colombo 3 | Opening Hours: 9am – 10pm | 0112 595 595
A recent addition to this landscape, it has not become a major blip on our radar but has a big Abans outlet and a huge computer arcade, if you’re searching for distractions. The other offerings, in terms of shops, are fairly run of the mill for a large Sri Lankan department store. There is a food court that is somewhat disjointedly laid out, but the food is not bad.

8. Odel

5 Alexandra Place, Colombo 7 | Opening Hours: 10am – 8pm | 0114 625 800
One of the first department stores in Colombo, it has now branched out to numerous locations. It is very popular, especially with busloads of tourists who flood in there to buy souvenir gifts. It has a good variety of stock including clothing, shoes, handbags and homeware, a wide range of teas, and there is a Spa Ceylon outlet. We love ‘Backstage’ for costume jewellery, and the toy department for great gift ideas. Odel is a good all-round option with excellent client service, but it’s very touristy. The address included is for their flagship store: the first store opened by Odel, and the one that has been majorly renovated and expanded as the brand has grown. There are many more outlets spread out around the city and suburbs though.

9. Cool Planet

61, Isipathana Mawatha, Colombo 5 | Opening Hours: 10am – 9pm | 0112 505 190
Another department store establishment that has come up in recent years, Cool Planet has a few outlets in Colombo and its surrounding suburbs. They sell clothing, toys, homeware, costume jewellery, cards etc. It’s a great place to find affordable clothing and a variety of things like water bottles, school bags and random gift items. Address included is for their main store in Colombo. They have others in the suburbs around Colombo as well.

10. Crescat Boulevard

89 Galle Road, Colombo 3 | Opening Hours: 10.30am – 11pm | 0112 152 100
Crescat Boulevard was Colombo’s premier upmarket shopping complex. It has a small selection of shops, and overall can be a bit redundant. They also have a supermarket with a larger variety of imported goods than most. Crescat has an interesting eating spot in ‘the Sugar Bistro and Wine Bar’ and is also adjacent to the Cinnamon Grand hotel which makes it a good option for a run-around if you’re in that part of town.

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